Why take dance exams?
Tuesday 8th March 2022
Once students have learnt the set exercises as well as all the dance vocabulary required for the exam, they will be invited by Miss Michelle to take their exam! Students who start dancing from young will be entered at Primary level, followed by Grade's 1 - 6 and then progressing to pre-professional levels.
Taking dance exams is highly recommended, as not only is it a great achievement, but it also teaches great discipline and etiquette which can be beneficial in all aspects of life.
Once students reach Grade 6, you can gain UCAS points. UCAS tariff points translate your qualifications and grades into a numerical value, which some universities, colleges, and conservatoires may refer to in their course entry requirements.
How to prepare for your dance exam
You will have a set date and time for your dance exam, and Miss Michelle will tell you where your dance exam is held (usually at your normal dance school, but some exams require a trip to London, in the examination boards Head Office), you must be at this location ahead of your exam time in order to prepare appropriately and also to make sure you are in a calm but focussed state of mind.
You will be required to wear your class uniform and this should be clean and free from damage (no ladders in tights, clean shoes etc). Appearance is a criteria which the students are marked on; it is an important part of preparing the dancer for their future, so discipline is quite strict. This includes hair! - Girls hair should be slicked back in a bun or two French plaits (depending on the exam), no loose bits or whispies! Hairspray is your best friend! Boys hair should be smart and off of the face.
It's exam time...
The time has come, the examiner is sitting at a table on the other side of the door waiting for you, she rings her bell which signals that you may now enter the exam studio.
If you are taking your exam with a small group of fellow dancers, you will enter in the order Miss Michelle has specified.
You enter the exam room like you would enter the stage, running elegantly, quickly, and with a big smile on your face. Making eye contact with your examiner is important as this shows confidence and a good first impression. She will introduce herself and may ask you to do the same, she will also make sure your names corresponds accurately with the details on her paperwork.
Remember, the examiner does want you to feel comfortable, they do want you to enjoy yourself, and they do want you to do well in your exam - they are not scary monsters waiting for you to slip up and fail!
You will perform your exercises just as Miss Michelle, Miss Emily & Miss Ella has prepared you to in your classes, running in order from the first exercise to the last. The only people in the room with be the examiner, your fellow dancers, and someone to operate the music system.
After your exam
After your exam, it is time to relax! Try not to spend too much time reflecting on negatives, we all make mistakes and it is how we cope with them that matters. You are allowed to make mistakes, you're only human!
Hopefully you come out of your exam feeling happy and positive.
Your scores and notes will be taken back to the examining boards head office for a thorough assessment and for your grade to be determined. This is a process that can take some time, so you can expect your teacher to receive your final mark between two weeks and two months from your exam date. A certificate will follow in the posts, and you can move to the next grade!
We wish you lots of luck in your exams!